With October right around the corner, chances are that you’re looking to stream something spooky. Just one problem: if you’re a veteran horror fan, you might have watched so many live-action classics that Freddy Krueger now has nightmares about you. If you’re in the mood for a change of pace and more than a few “ghoulish” surprises, we’ve got some good news: the hit anime show Tokyo Ghoul is now streaming on Hulu, and it has the kind of freaky frights that Western horror just can’t deliver.
An example of the surprises we mentioned is baked right into the premise of the show. Tokyo Ghoul follows the story of Ken Kaneki, a young man who just wants to do well in college and maybe find a little romance along the way. To that end, he goes on a date with the lovely young woman Rize Kamishiro, and that date ends up changing his life.
One reason that fans and critics enjoyed Tokyo Ghoul so much is the show’s unique approach to portraying supernatural elements and abilities.
Since Tokyo Ghoul is a horror anime, though, his life ends up changing for the worse. His date reveals herself as one of the titular ghouls and tries to kill Kaneki, fully intending to devour his flesh (something these ghouls must do to survive).
The young man survives the encounter and wakes up in the hospital with the world’s biggest case of good news, bad news: surgery has kept him alive, but he now has some of his deadly date’s organs inside of him, meaning that he is now half-ghoul himself.
Unlike most Western horror stories, Tokyo Ghoul is not a tale about plucky humans who must band together and find a way to ultimately kill a deadly foe. Instead, we follow Kaneki as he lives a miserable half-life where he walks both worlds and tries to fit in with both the secretive ghouls as well as the unsuspecting humans.
Ghoulish managers of a coffee shop help teach him the ropes of being a monster, but there is only so much they can teach him about blending in with humanity…and absolutely nothing they can do about his need to consume human flesh on a regular basis.
Combined with their hardened skin and heightened levels of kinetic energy, these guys are like super-vamps that could give Buffy the Vampire Slayer a run for her money.
The Tokyo Ghoul anime was very well-received by fans, but that wasn’t much of a surprise. Like most anime series, it was adapted from a manga, and the manga had already proven to be a hit: in 2016, it was chosen as the Best Manga Comic-Con International, and it went on to win a host of other awards and honors, including being nominated for the highly prestigious Harvey Award for Best Manga.
If anything, the anime adaptation proved to be even more popular: on Rotten Tomatoes, it has an 86 percent rating from audiences and a nearly unprecedented 100 percent rating from critics.
One reason that fans and critics enjoyed Tokyo Ghoul so much is the show’s unique approach to portraying supernatural elements and abilities. For example, the ghouls’ power mostly comes from the RC cells flowing through their blood that can harden on command.
Combined with their hardened skin and heightened levels of kinetic energy, these guys are like super-vamps that could give Buffy the Vampire Slayer a run for her money, but their powers have more of a scientific (well, pseudo-scientific) explanation than we usually get from horror franchises.
Tokyo Ghoul Adaptations
Given how popular Tokyo Ghoul proved to be, it’s no surprise that the legacy of this anime involved more trips to this very bloody well. It was followed up by two OVAs and the excellent Tokyo Ghoul: re as well as two live-action films. While the transition to live-action was merely okay (hey, they can’t all be One Piece), the sheer amount of relatively recent Tokyo Ghoul content proves that the franchise simply continued to gain momentum since its original release.
That momentum is very well-deserved: Tokyo Ghoul does an excellent job of providing the thrills and chills we want from a great horror story while subverting the genre in the best possible ways. Whether you’re just in the mood for something very scary or you want to kick off Halloween festivities a month early (we can’t blame you for that), this is the perfect series to stream on Hulu. Tricks, treats, and more blood than you can shake a stake at…now, that’s our kind of spooky party.